Friday, April 06, 2012

Wildlife Sightings

One of the things I love about Antelope Island is that the wildlife is so accessible. I love to be able to tell  visitors where they can go to see the bison or the pronghorn, and be pretty certain they will see something when they head out.

Quite often folks will come in just so excited to share that they saw a pronghorn right next to the road. Or a herd of  bison, or a rabbit. I was excited today when I found a barn owl nest, with the owl hunkered down low, hiding from our prying eyes. I'm not going to tell you where I saw it. You'll have to come out to the island, and then MAYBE I'll show you.

Speaking of barn owls, they are fast becoming my favorite owl. I think the reason may be because of the number of times I have had the opportunity to see one since I've been out here. Quite often in the morning I will startle or be startled by one hiding up in the rafters of the visitor center. I almost got splattered by one who seemed quite annoyed that I spooked him off his perch. This past winter I was frequented by a barn owl who would come and dine just outside my window on my window AC unit. He would leave castings, droppings and the occasional innards of a mouse.

Plus they're pretty owls, and exceptional hunters. When they are feeding a young brood, they consume an unimaginable number of mice throughout the summer for themselves and their young. That makes me happy for a number of reasons; fewer mice to invade my home, and plenty of castings (owl puke) for me to gather and use for educational purposes later.


Sybil said...

The trouble with walking with dogs, is I rarely such wonderful things ... owls !

Love the photo.

Kim said...

I got to see two barn owls outside my office the day we had our photos with Santa! I walked outside, and they were sitting in the tree across the parking lot, probably wondering why there were so many people around!